[ooni-talk] [Report] Russia started blocking Tor

Maria Xynou maria at openobservatory.org
Mon Dec 20 11:12:44 UTC 2021


We published a report documenting the *blocking of Tor in Russia*.

Read the report here: https://ooni.org/post/2021-russia-blocks-tor/

Our report shares OONI data and analysis on the blocking of the Tor network
and Tor Project website on some AS networks in Russia.

*# Blocking of Tor*

On 1st December 2021, some ISPs in Russia started blocking access to the
Tor network by means of IP blocking.

Out of (more than) 65 tested AS networks, OONI data only shows signs of Tor
blocking on 15 AS networks in Russia.

Russia also blocks obfs4 addresses, which means that Tor users in Russia
may need to use private Tor bridges to circumvent the block:

Tor blocking differs from ISP to ISP in Russia. However, not all users on
the same AS network experience Tor blocking.

*# Blocking of torproject.org <http://torproject.org>*

OONI data suggests that some ISPs in Russia have been blocking access to
torproject.org since September 2021.

Censorship techniques across ISPs differ. On some networks, a block page is
served for torproject.org, enabling us to automatically confirm the block.

On other networks, OONI data suggests that access to torproject.org is
being interfered with by means of a TLS man-in-the-middle attack.

In other cases, we observe that the connection is reset once the TLS
handshake has been initiated, suggesting the use of DPI.

Despite these blocks, OONI data suggests that both the Tor network &
torproject.org are still accessible on most networks in Russia.

*# What you can do  *

To help more Russians stay connected to the Tor network, please run a Tor

To circumvent Tor blocking in Russia, you can use a private Tor bridge:

We also recommend keeping an eye out for (and updating to) the next Tor
Browser version, and configuring Tor Browser to use Snowflake.

If access to torproject.org is blocked on your network, you can:

* Circumvent this block by visiting the Tor Project’s website mirror:
* Get Tor Browser by sending an email to gettor at torproject.org

We thank OONI Probe users in Russia who contributed measurements,
supporting this study. <3

We also thank the Tor Project for their tireless efforts in building an
online world that defends human rights. <3


OONI team.
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